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I now understand why some marriages fall apart.

February 10, 2019

I used to be an elementary school teacher and ed-tech consultant; now I'm a mom of twins and aspiring children's book author.

This blog is a place for me to write about personal life experiences, gleanings from books I've recently read, past and current DIY projects, and reflective thoughts that need a home outside my heart. Here at HeartEyes, I am opening my heart and eyes to yet another new chapter of my life, and my hope is that by joining me here, your heart and eyes would be opened to a more thoughtful and intentional life.

Hi, i'm tiff!

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Personal Reminders: First priority? Marriage. Second priority? Kids.

A few years ago, my husband and I were at a wedding, sitting across from another couple who were attending the wedding sans kids. I was a few months pregnant then.

It was during our conversation with them that night where we received one of the most valuable pieces of advice we’ve ever received.

“Your kids need your marriage. Your marriage does not need your kids.”

My husband and I both agreed wholeheartedly that this advice lined up with our parenting philosophies of being a united front and solid role models to our future children, rather than letting them run our lives while our marriage ever-so-slowly fell apart. We were determined to live accordingly once our twins arrived.

Fast-forward to 1.5 years into twin parenthood.

I was lying in bed thinking about my relationship with my husband (or lack thereof) and came to the realization that the exact thing we were determined to avoid, had become our reality.

With him being in graduate school full-time for 3 years, us living far away from family, my having been through prenatal depression and continuing to experience postpartum anxiety, all the while trying to keep ourselves as well as our twins alive, we had become mere roommates, rather than a couple who were the loves of each other’s lives.

Where had the sweetness gone?

Where had the romance gone?

Where had the random post-it notes of love gone?

As I considered my feelings toward him, I realized that yes, I love my husband, sure, but I was no longer in love with him the way I used to be before we had kids.

So I told him.

I told him that the feelings I had (or lack thereof), were probably the result of us rarely doing the following:

1) Going to bed at the same time and chatting before we fell asleep like we used to, since he usually had to stay up late to study/do homework,

2) Having date nights because we’re too tired or busy or didn’t think to arrange for a babysitter in advance,

3) Having real and deep conversations due to one of us being too stressed/tired/anxious/annoyed, and

4) Hugging/cuddling/being intimate because of all of the above and due to my terrifying fear of getting pregnant again.

Then it dawned on me that we couldn’t possibly be the only parents who were experiencing this, but like so many other things in pregnancy, married-life, and parenting, nobody talks about the real, hard stuff.

How are we supposed to get help when we feel alone, ashamed, and like failures because it feels like our marriage is falling apart 1.5 years into parenthood?

How are we supposed to work through these difficulties when we can’t think of anyone else who has gone through the same thing and can truly empathize with us?

How are we supposed to rethink the way we live our lives when nobody we know opens up about their struggles and how they overcame them?

But on the flip side, how many people are reflective, open, and willing to be vulnerable enough to talk about all of this? How many years have to go by before couples suddenly realize that they spent so much time focused on their children that they no longer recognize who they married? I realized that this was one way couples drifted apart, and I was not okay with that. I did not and do not ever want to be mere roommates with my husband again.

With these thoughts swirling through my head, I hesitantly told my husband I felt like I needed him to date me again, which was actually an aha moment for me. I had always heard about the need to date your spouse but I never truly understood it until this point. (This was actually pretty difficult for me to express, because I rarely, if ever, tell people what I need.)

I am so grateful that he completely empathized and agreed with everything I expressed.

Since this conversation happened last year, my husband and I have planned and gone on a few date nights, definitely not as many as we’d like, but at the very least they have been small steps toward rekindling our love for each other.

Just from going on the first 2 date nights, we could already see and feel a change in our relationship from spending dedicated time together, away from the twins. We realize how important those times are and how the deep conversations we have during those times make such an impact on our marriage and parenting.

Moving forward, we hope to continue to be more deliberate in planning ahead and learning how to put our marriage first, no matter how exhausted or frustrated we may be in our current stage of life. In doing so, we strive to be balanced, united, and loving parents to our twins so that we are the best role models to them as they continue to grow from tiny little human beings into mature and responsible adults.

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  1. Lucy C says:

    Tiffany, I didn’t know you blogged. This was really insightful and I’m glad you’re willing to share your experiences so openly. It’s a real benefit to me, and I’m sure to others as well! Thanks, Tiffany!

    • Tiffany Chan says:

      Hi Lucy! I wanted to say I just started blogging but upon reflection, it looks like I actually began 6 months ago! Haha I’m glad you found it insightful and beneficial!

  2. Noel says:

    These are such deep words of wisdom. I will definitely hold these words to heart if and when God blesses me with marriage and children one day 🙂

    Thank you again for sharing, I’m looking forward to your next entry!

  3. Pop Annemarie Chan says:

    Hugs to you! I commend you on allowing your vulnerability to show so others too can realize they’re not alone.
    After reading this post it brought me back ten years ago when the boys were babies. I remember being home alone with two little ones, thinking to myself what has become of my life?! I felt alone, tired, hopeless, mad and was in desperate need of a shower. While I was pregnant I was lead to believe it was going to be powdery roses and cuteness 24/7. Boy was I wrong! However, it was in those rare sweet moments of calm and giggles (usually when they were asleep) that I realized the purpose of my journey. Which helped change my perspective on love, self love and motherhood. Parenthood is the toughest job out there. You’re doing an amazing job.
    You’re definitely not alone Tiff.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Love you little sis.
    – Pop Annemarie ♥️

    • Tiffany Chan says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Pop! I’m still working on changing my perspective on motherhood and trying to figure out and be happy with my new normal. It’s definitely a process and I really appreciate your support! <3

  4. Amber says:

    Hi Tiff, I completely understand where you’re coming from and wanted to say you’re not alone in all of this! For what it’s worth, we read the 5 Love Languages and I was surprised at how much it helped us figure some things out. I know with a spouse in school full time it can be overwhelming but the late night studying will be over at some point (hopefully haha) and you can get into a more predictable schedule with date nights and such. Also, lunch dates, if possible!

    • Tiffany Chan says:

      Thanks, Amber! Yea, we took the 5 Love Languages quiz years ago and it has definitely helped. Our situation would definitely be even worse if we didn’t have that! Thankfully he will be finished with school in 3 months! WOOHOO!!

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Pondering thoughts, personal life experiences, things I love, mental health, marriage life, and everything in between.



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Everything from my birth story to postpartum anxiety and depression, from c-section recovery to mom guilt and judgment. Prepare for raw and emotional posts!


Books + Podcasts

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Gleanings from books I've read and podcasts I've been impressed with, with the occasional children's book recommendations!


DIY Projects

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DIY project tutorials from six years of projects in my home! Very much a work in progress, migrating tutorials from my Instagram page to my blog!


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